Corporate Anonymity is a Conduit for Crime

This article was originally published by Deseret News.

Few people would imagine Delaware or Wyoming as potentially key players in the world of international crime and terror. But as a result of some of the most permissive corporate legal codes in the world, that appears to be a strong possibility.

When people want to form a corporation or an LLC, they contact a corporate service provider — often a law firm or a stand-alone enterprise whose main business is to create companies for others. In more than 180 countries, international standards dictate that these providers require customers to furnish notarized photo ID. Ironically, although the U.S. pushed the rest of the world to adopt these standards, U.S.-based incorporation providers almost never follow them. In many states, incorporation providers brag about the level of privacy that they can offer their clients. Those seeking to create a completely anonymous shell company can often do so entirely online, within a few hours or less and with less documentation than it takes to obtain a library card.

Continue reading: the full op-ed can be found here.

Daniel Nielson is a professor of political science at Brigham Young University. Eliza Riley and George González are research assistants in the Department of Political Science at Brigham Young University.

This article was originally published by Deseret News.